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Report: NHLPA might hold February outdoor game if season is canceled

Dec 23, 2012, 6:55 PM EDT

lakelouisegetty Getty Images

If the 2012-13 season is completely canceled, the NHLPA might attempt to replace some of the magic lost from the aborted 2013 Winter Classic.

Sportsnet’s Daren Millard reported on Thursday that the union is planning an outdoor game in February at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada if the remainder of this season’s schedule is dashed.

Millard also describes how the seating arrangements would shake out:

The NHLPA and individual players opted not to comment about Millard’s report when contacted by the Calgary Sun’s Randy Sportak.

Sportak does paint a pretty picture of what the game might look like, though:

Talk about Canadiana at its best.

Imagine a hockey game … featuring NHL players … on Lake Louise.

Picture the mountain backdrop while the likes of big name stars such as Jarome Iginla, Sidney Crosby and Henrik and Daniel Sedin skate on the natural ice.

That sounds almost as cool as those players skating in NHL arenas and playing in regular season and playoff games, doesn’t it?

  1. cbghockeyvideos87 - Dec 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    half a season instead

  2. prov1x - Dec 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Genius. They have taken all the momentum from last year and now think a sandlot game on a lake is a great idea? Nice. Take all of ’em….owners, players…I’m over it.

  3. blomfeld - Dec 23, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    And you thought Ovechkin disappearing down a manhole is bad ?

    The bottom line friends is that this will never happen in a million years. Now while I’m not a geologist per se, I am familiar enough with this region to know that such an undertaking could end in utter catastrophe. The ice thickness of Lake Louise at that time of year is indeed enough to safely support “moderate” human activity on the surface (10-14 inches average with a given temperature at < 5 degrees C). However this region is prone to wildly fluctuating temperature swings by as much as 30 degrees C in the span of less than 5 minutes (ie: Chinook wind phenomena). And therefore there would exist the possibility of a crack or fissure developing in the ice, which in turn could almost "instantaneously" result in a massive collapse of the ice surface proper. The spectacle of the NHL's very "best" players (ie: Crosby, Carter, Malkin, Brown, Stamkos, Doughty) flailing about in the frigid waters of Lake Louise is simply incomprehensible ! Not to mention the fact that such a calamity would be playing out on "live" TV right across the country !

    In summary friends, while this may appear to be a novel idea on the drawing board, suffice it to say that on the drawing board it will remain. In fact, it would probably be a good idea for Bettman and crew to now find out who exactly was behind this idea and then have a "little chat" with the individual.

    • unclax41 - Dec 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      ::sigh:: At this point, all of the players can go jump into a freezing lake for all I care.

    • badintent - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

      I’ll be watching that game from the Tea House, a nice 1.5 hour mountain walk that offers great views of the entire lake and Banff. I’ll dump some Grand Mariner in the tea and toboggan down to the lake, knocking over as many of these greedy idiots as possible.Into the Valley of Death , rode the 600…………………………….

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      Yeah we have Chinooks in Alberta but a 10 degree Celsius day in February isn’t going to melt ice instantaneously. I’ve played enough pond hockey in my life in Calgary to know that what you’re describing is very unlikely to happen, UNLESS the game just happened to be scheduled after several days of prolonged chinook conditions. But Lake Louise and lakes all over southern Alberta are used for skating, pond hockey and ice fishing all winter despite the possibility of the catastrophic events you seem to think are imminent.

      I think the 2 big questions would be: 1. Are they real rink boards? And if so what are they anchored into? And 2. Why would they need boards? No chance there’s any contact in this game.

      • blomfeld - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:25 AM

        atwatercrushesokoye – Friend, it isn’t just the players that I’d be concerned about should there be a catastrophic failure of the ice. I’m assuming that there would also be a VIP box “rink-side” containing the top brass of both the NHL and NHLPA, not to mention other various dignitaries from both politics and business. Can you imagine the absolute horror of seeing the lot of them disappear into the frigid waters of Lake Louise ? It doesn’t even bear thinking, let alone the PR disaster which would be sure to follow afterwards. No, while I agree it’s a fun idea and all, the risks are simply too great for this to be taken seriously.

  4. notoriouswarsaw - Dec 23, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    no one should show up to watch. and the ice cracking wouldn’t be too bad

  5. sportsfan69 - Dec 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Herr Blomfeld,

    Hopefully, id4joey reports are true.

    • blomfeld - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      Mein lieber Sportsfan – I know that Joey likes to tease these guys here at PHT, however I’m convinced that he’s correct and sincere with this Bergeron report ! :)

      Now with this excellent movie Das Boot, I saw it when it first came out back in 1981. I was 22 at the time living in Sweden and so I viewed it in it’s original German format with Swedish subtitles. One of the absolute best war movies “ever” in my opinion! So rich in detail and so powerful in it’s message that war is such an utter and complete waste. The ending was very sad, which in my opinion any movie that tackles this subject should be. Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” is another brilliant movie which follows in this same vain of truth. Be good my friend !

    • badintent - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM

      Great Flick, even my dad who flew his B-24 over Nazi Germany and Italy 25 times( and hated the Nazi), liked this movie.Thanks and Happy Holidays

      • blomfeld - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:07 AM

        @badintent – I know from speaking with USAAF veterans in the past, that 25 x missions would be considered quite a remarkable feat! The B-24 Liberator was a tough bird and it flew many of the toughest missions carried out during the war (Doolittle’s “one way” Tokyo raid, Ploesti, etc). Still though, what those guys were doing back then was well beyond brave … it was complete craziness and devotion! I feel that “theirs” is a generation of honor and decency which we may never see the likes of again.

        PS: merry Christmas to you friend and welcome aboard to our new “techno-electronic” Army of Truth here at PHT ! :)

      • badintent - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM

        I forgot to mention that some of the missions were over North Africa, chasing Rommel. Yes, you’re right , they were the “Best Generation” they defeated the Axis and then built the greatest economy in history. And most of them were my dad’s age, 20, at the time they enter the military.
        Thank you for allowing me to sign up with the Army of Truth , just up there are no Marine DI s ! LOL. Happy New Year.

  6. greatminnesotasportsmind - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Great idea and sounds cool, but…

    What big name player would show up on their own dime to a place in the middle of Canada in between Calgary and Edmonton? Players (mostly Red Wings) complain and find every reason to not travel to the All-Star in rink indoors. After all a few were suspended 1 game for not going a few years ago.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:00 AM

      Lake Louise is not in between Calgary and Edmonton, that would be Red Deer. Lake Louise is west of Calgary, in Banff national park, not sure if you’ve heard of that but it is a beautiful area and there are lots and lots from all over the world every year. It’s a resort, not at all comparable to travelling to Columbus in the middle of the winter. Also a large number of NHL players are from Canada and they would likely jump at the idea of a free weekend in the Chateau Lake Louise.

      • blomfeld - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:40 AM

        atwatercrushesokoye – No argument from me there, as I’m sure most of the “elite” players would indeed turn up. Nonetheless, the risk of things ending up in sheer and utter horror, deem this to be a highly unlikely enterprise.

      • east96st - Dec 24, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        ‘It’s a resort, not at all comparable to travelling to Columbus in the middle of the winter.”

        Hey! What’s with the shot at Columbus? In the middle of winter, we’ve got lots of black ice, people who crap their pants at the thought of driving in one inch of snow, the sun never shines, and it rains a lot. When’s there’s no lockout, we have the worse NHL team that happens to be the worse run and is outright abusive towards it’s fans. The arena is surrounded by restaurants that serve that day’s loser from Scioto Downs racetrack and pretend it’s food. Oh, yeah, we also have chubby OSU coeds packing on their winter weight. You trying to tell me there’s something out there better than that?

  7. valoisvipers - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    @east96st Too funny, I really hope it is not true about the city but yeah they sure do need better management for the Blue Jackets.

  8. fortwaynekomets - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:22 PM


    play some dang HOCKEY ALREADY!!!!!!

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